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Friday, November 23, 2007
posted by My Klob | 9:57 PM | permalink
David Brooks

I like David Brooks alright, I guess. I mean I grew up rooting for him, whenever he debated Mark Shields. I always thought Brooks made intellectual arguments and I felt like my side had smart people on it after listening to him...

...That is often all politics is. You vote for someone who makes you feeling smart, who tells you that what you already believe is true.

Rare is the politician who makes actual arguments in a way that engages those who disagree with him. Most politicians talk TO those that agree with them and talk ABOUT those that disagree with him.
Guess what? That is why I like Romney. Honestly. That is why I spend time on the stuff I do for him. I think he changes all this. This speech is a great example of him speaking TO those whom he disagrees with.

So anyways I liked David Brooks for selfish reasons: He agreed with my side, and when you listened to him you could feel good that your side was smart.
His tendency to self examine might explain this encounter. A turning point in Brooks' thinking came in a televised debate with Milton Friedman, which, as Brooks describes it, "was essentially me making a point, and he making a two-sentence rebuttal which totally devastated my point."
But saying "this guy on my side is smart, so my side must be right" will only get you so far. Some day you have to grow up, and look at the facts on each side.
So, my image of David Brooks is a guy who is intellectually curious and willing to change his mind.
I still like David, but at some point you have to ask if the thing people say make sense, even if it is a guy like David Brooks that you like. That's why I was so disappointed when I read the following:
...Of course it hasn't turned out that way. At the moment, Giuliani and fellow moderate Mitt Romney are attacking each other for being insufficiently Tancredo-esque. They are not renouncing the policies they championed as city and state officials, but the emphasis as they run for federal office is all in the other direction. In effect, they are competing to drive away Hispanic votes and make the party unelectable in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Florida and the nation at large.
In this way, they are participating in the greatest blown opportunity in recent political history. At its current nadir, the G.O.P. had been blessed with five heterodox presidential candidates who had the potential to modernize the party on a variety of fronts. They could be competing to do that, but instead they are competing to appeal to the narrowest slice of the old guard and flatter the most rigid orthodoxies of the Beltway interest groups. Giuliani could have opened the party to the armies of dynamism — the sort of hard-working strivers who live in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx; instead he has shelved one of his core convictions.

Someday Rudy Giuliani will look back on this moment and wonder why he didn't run as himself.
Political commentators like David Brooks don't get paid for giving accurate explanations of the universe, they get paid for making humorous oversimplifications. I would like to replace the job title of "political commentators" with "humorous oversimplifers". I think it has a nice ring. Oversimplifications are funny when they back up a conclusion that you agree with, but when they oversimplify your side, you see that a dirty trick has been played, and that your side has been misrepresented.

David Brook's oversimplification is that: enforcing laws = "Tancredo-esque". However, here in the real world, every time Romney speaks of immigration he clarifies his statements by saying, "But LEGAL immigration is GOOD."

David Brooks did not give an actual quote. We are just supposed to believe him that Romney and Rudy are trying to be Tom Tancredo. I did not get a degree in History, like David Brooks. I do not get paid for what I say, like David Brooks. But I think you will have to agree that I make a better argument, and case for my side than he does. I use actual quotes. I deserve, in this post, to be paid more than David Brooks for my ideas.
Some people will never give me the amount of credit that he does. Nothing I can say, will hold as much weight as him, no matter what I say, just because he holds a position of authority. Don't be like that. I make a better case than David Brooks. David Brooks is wrong. Here is Romney's position:

"We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants -- for citizens -- and less attractive for illegal immigrants. I want to see more immigration in our country, but more legal immigration and less illegal immigration."
- Governor Romney, AP, June 23, 2006

David Brooks said, "…In effect, they are competing to drive away Hispanic votes and make the party unelectable in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Florida and the nation at large." Once again, Mr. Brooks gives no statistics to back up his claim. Look at the results from the following poll:

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Oct. 12-14, 2007. N=1,212 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

.

"Would you like to see the number of illegal immigrants currently in this country increased, decreased, or remain the same?"

.

IncreasedDecreasedSameUnsure

%

%

%

%

10/12-14/07

7

69

22

2

10/20-22/06

5

67

27

1

6/8-11/06

2

67

26

6



70% of people agree with Romney that we should have less illegal immigration! Mexico will not let US Citizens walk across the border. David Brooks is not intellectually honest enough (in this post) to give an actual quote from either Rudy or Romney that he disagrees with. David Brooks is not intellectually honest enough (keep inserting "in this post") to say specifically what he thinks should be done, and how Romney and Rudy are wrong. All he does is engage in brain-dead hyperbole of accusing Romney and Rudy of "trying to out Tencrado each other." He engages in brain dead predictions about what will happen to the Republican Party if we enforce the law. (Again, I don't think he is always "Brain dead". I just don't like this article.)
What part of; "We need to make America more attractive for legal immigrants" does David Brooks disagree with? Does David Brooks disagree that we need to make America more attractive for LEGAL immigrants? Does David Brooks disagree that we need to make ILLEGAL immigration less attractive for illegal immigrants? David, how should we make illegal immigration MORE attractive?

David says, "…They could be competing to do that, but instead they are competing to appeal to the narrowest slice of the old guard and flatter the most rigid orthodoxies of the Beltway interest groups." These are just pretty words that beltway types speak to themselves, that have absolutely nothing to do with reality. Lets have an honest debate David. Don't deal in broad generalities. Don't oversimplify the positions of those whom you disagree with. What "old guard" is Romney flattering when he says we need to make America more appealing to LEGAL immigrants? What "rigid orthodoxies of the Beltway interest groups" is Romney listening to when he advocates that we do what every other nation on this planet does: try to regulate their borders.

Yes, David, old orthodoxies believed in borders. Without borders, we don't have a country. Would you suggest we get red of our borders? Some orthodoxies should just be called common sense, but the problem is that David doesn't say which freaking orthodoxies he is talking about. When he says that Romney and Rudy are bowing to inside republican orthodoxies, he isn't making a real argument... If he was making a real argument he would explain what orthodoxies Romney and Rudy are bowing to, and why they shouldn't be bowed down to...
That's another problem with David. He never suggests what we should do. You know it's easy to make accusations that politicians are compromising their principals, everyone already assumes you are right... you get to sound so smart, and thoughtful, without actually going through the bother of making a logical argument, with specific proposals, policies, or specific problems with your opponent's position.

Well now I'm pretty worked up. Yep, I'm pretty ticked off. I'm tired of politics. I'm tired of people doing simple things. Making arguments without any data, without any statistics, without any specifics. I yearn for Mitt Romney to be president. You may think I have emotional problems, but In my mind, when Mr. Powerpoint gets into office, I think a lot of this stupidity will stop.

If you're not catching some of the shorthand that I am referencing you need to read articles like this one:

http://www.american.com/archive/2006/december/mitt-romney

In short, I like Romney, because opinions are like elbows. Everyone has them. David Brooks has them. Mark Hemingway has opinions. All sorts of idiots have opinions, and agendas, and all sorts of people say stuff that just isn't true. That's why people hate politics. We all hear people with agendas who say stuff that isn't true, and we get tired of it, and so we tune the whole thing out... People with agendas tend to ignore facts that don't agree with their agendas, and so some tend to live in worlds that have very little to do with reality. Ask Star Trek fans, there is a line you cross when your view of the world has too little to do with reality, and you are a freak. There are too many freaks in politics, and David Brooks' perception of reality has made him a little bit of a freak, because he is no longer using sound reasoning techniques to understand Romney, or Rudy, for that matter.
That is why I like Romney. People talk about people not being from Washington. Well, it is more important were you were from than were you are not from, and Romney is from a world of facts, figures, and statistics. Please, you must read this article and what kind of person you want to run the country...
In the beginning of this post I said Romney spoke to those whom he disagreed with. I gave this speech as an example. Contrast that to the smug self-righteous way that David Brooks speaks ABOUT Romney and Rudy. Contrast Romney's use of statistics and facts with the way that David Brooks oversimplifies Romney's position, calls names, doesn't use actual quotes, doesn't give specific problems, speaks in generalities, and says that we are going to hurt the party by enforcing our borders, when statistics plainly show just the opposite.
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2 Comments:


Since DB started working for the Times, he has moved left. He is now liberals favorite "conservative". He is a NYC pro immigration, social liberal. Would any other sort of "conservative" be acceptable to the Times?



For years I listened to politicians say they were going to do things, and I would think, "Well, that's great, but how are you going to do that?" Here we have Mitt Romney who says, this is what I am going to do, and here is how I am going to do it. I think people are getting it, we just need people like you to keep showing us.

By Anonymous Robin from Indiana, at November 24, 2007 at 11:29 AM  



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